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Are we really freeing the river of information via information "streams" and other tools, or are these examples just spouts of water leaking from the dam?


Remember the idea of the paperless office? The concept was that eventually paper would be eliminated from the workplace – all the information we needed and used in our work would be available electronically. As technology evolved, a lot of information sharing initially moved to email. Yet I have memories of colleagues - not me, of course (*cough*) - printing out scores of emails to read later.

With the increase in mobile devices and ubiquitous connection to the Internet, I think there is indeed a lot less paper being used these days – at least for printing emails. But we’re experiencing a different kind of information logjam, in the form of email overload. James Mullan looks at some of the hidden and intriguing reasons behind this overload, and the slow shift of communication and collaboration to social networks.

Enter more metaphors, and actual tools, for freeing the river of information. Google+ added new functionality aimed toward enterprises: more flexible Hangouts for video conferencing, and improved security and administration features. In the FreePint Report on Workflow Integration, guest editor Cindy Romaine talks about users “drowning in a tsunami of information”, and discusses products like Attensa StreamServer, which help get the right information to the right people via – coincidentally – Streams, as well as mobile access options.

Finally, James also looks at Google Current and other streams of information which incorporate video and other content for browser-based or mobile access.

Are information streams a sea-change in the way we share and consume information?  Or are these examples just spouts of water leaking from the dam?

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